Sparkling Lemonade with Fresh Berry Ice
Despite my love for entertaining and seriously over thinking pretty much everything, I love a good casual holiday celebration as much as anyone. Maybe more. So to that end, here is a simple yet festive beverage fit for any Fourth of July fête. A nice glass of lemonade spruced up with a bit of sparkling water and some berry ice cubes. No need to go to great lengths forcing foods that fit a red, white and blue color scheme or cutting out star-shaped everything with a cookie cutter. (And for anyone doubting how low maintenance this really is, it takes about 10 minutes of actual effort.)
For a spirited version, feel free to experiment with mixing in some vodka in place of a portion of the sparkling water. I haven’t tried it yet myself but I most certainly will, and soon. I hope you all have a fun and safe Fourth!
Yield: 4-6 servings
For the ice cubes:
- Assorted fresh berries (blueberries, strawberry slices, raspberries)
For the lemonade:
- 1½ cups freshly squeezed lemon juice (about 12-14 lemons)
- ¾ cup sugar
- 2-3 cups sparkling water, chilled
Add a few fresh berries to each well of an ice cube tray. Fill the wells with water and freeze until solid.
In a small saucepan, combine the lemon juice and sugar over medium heat. Let cook, stirring occasionally, until the sugar has dissolved completely. Transfer to a large liquid measuring cup, cover and chill until ready to serve.
To serve, place a few of the berry ice cubes in each serving glass. Add 2 cups of the sparkling water to the chilled lemon syrup and stir gently. Add more sparkling water to taste if needed. Pour the mixture into the glasses and serve immediately.